Work or social transfers – the sources of income and characteristics of immigrants from Poland to four EU countries based on survey information

Katarzyna Saczuk, Warsaw School of Economics
Pawel A. Strzelecki, Warsaw School of Economics

In many EU countries the abuse the social systems by immigrants became one of the topics of political agenda. This kind of discussion base sparsely on solid evidence. The aim of this paper is the presentation of selected results of the survey of Polish immigrants in four EU countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany carried out in 2012 by SMG/KRC for National Bank of Poland. According to the results of the survey great majority of immigrants worked (over 90%). It can be also estimated that only a limited percentage of immigrants was employed in informal sector and avoided paying taxes and social contributions as most of them had health insurance. Majority of immigrants were young persons who didn’t use any kind of social transfers (63-85% of answers). Despite the fact that in the past short-term migration strategies prevailed among immigrants from Poland and still relatively high percentage of immigrants that left their families in Poland more recent observations suggest the change of attitudes. Majority of emigrants declare that they want to stay more than three years.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 73: Immigration and the welfare state